A new law was recently signed that will help Americans save more for retirement, though many of the provisions don’t kick in for a few years. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement 2.0 Act (SECURE 2.0) is meant to build on the original SECURE Act of 2019, which made major changes to the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules and other retirement provisions.
Here are some of the significant retirement plan changes and when they’ll become effective:
- The age for beginning RMDs is going up. Employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans, traditional IRAs and individual retirement annuities are subject to RMD rules. They require that benefits start being distributed by a specific beginning date. Under the new law, the age used to determine distributions increases from age 72 to age 73 starting on January 1, 2023. It will then increase to age 75 starting on January 1, 2033.
- There will be higher “catch-up” contributions for 401(k) participants ages 60 through 63. Currently, participants in certain retirement plans can make additional catch-up contributions if they’re age 50 and older. The limit on catch-up contributions to 401(k) plans is $7,500 for 2023. Secure 2.0 will raise the 401(k) plan catch-up contribution limits to the greater of $10,000 or 150% of the regular catch-up amount for individuals ages 60 through 63. The higher amounts will be indexed for inflation after 2025. This provision will take effect for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2024. (There will also be increased catch-up amounts for SIMPLE plans.)
- Tax-free rollovers will be allowed from 529 accounts to Roth IRAs. SECURE 2.0 will permit beneficiaries of 529 college savings accounts to make direct trustee-to-trustee rollovers from a 529 account in their names to their Roth IRAs without tax or penalty. Several rules apply. This provision is effective for distributions after December 31, 2023.
- “Matching” contributions will be permitted for employees with student loan debt. The new law will allow an employer to make matching contributions to 401(k) and certain other retirement plans with respect to “qualified student loan payments.” The result of this provision is that employees who can’t afford to save money for retirement because they’re repaying student loan debt can still receive matching contributions from their employers into retirement plans. Taxpayers can receive these matching contributions even if they aren’t contributing to their own retirement accounts. This will take effect starting after December 31, 2023.
There are also some parts of the law that aren’t related to retirement plans, including a change to Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. Tax-exempt ABLE programs are established by states to assist individuals with disabilities.
Currently, in order to be the beneficiary of an ABLE account, an individual’s disability or blindness must have occurred before age 26. SECURE 2.0 increases this age limit to 46, which will make more people eligible to benefit from an ABLE account. This provision is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2025.
Just the beginning
These are only some of the many provisions in SECURE 2.0. Contact us if you have any questions about your situation.
Qualifying For The Home Office Deduction
In recent years, many people have pivoted to working from home, and that brings up tax questions. If you’re one of those people, you might wonder, “Can I claim the home office deduction on my 2022 tax return?”
The short answer is: only if you’re self-employed. Employees can’t currently claim home office expenses, and even self-employed taxpayers must follow strict rules to claim deductions.
If you qualify, you can deduct the “direct expenses” of a home office. This includes the costs of painting or repairing the home office and depreciation deductions for furniture and fixtures used there. You can also deduct the “indirect” expenses of maintaining the office. This includes the allocable share of utility costs, depreciation and insurance for your home, as well as the allocable share of mortgage interest, real estate taxes and casualty losses.
In addition, if your home office is your “principal place of business,” the eligible costs of traveling between your home office and other work locations are deductible transportation expenses, rather than nondeductible commuting costs.
Tests for deductibility
You can deduct your expenses if you meet any of these three tests:
1. Principal place of business. You’re entitled to deductions if you use your home office, exclusively and regularly, as your principal place of business. Your home office is your principal place of business if it satisfies one of two tests. You satisfy the “management or administrative activities test” if you use your home office for administrative or management activities of your business, and you meet certain other requirements. You meet the “relative importance test” if your home office is the most important place where you conduct business, compared with all the other locations where you conduct that business.
2. Meeting place. You’re entitled to home office deductions if you use your home office, exclusively and regularly, to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers. The patients, clients or customers must physically come to the office.
3. Separate structure. You’re entitled to home office deductions for a home office, used exclusively and regularly for business, that’s located in a separate unattached structure on the same property as your home. For example, this could be in an unattached garage, artist’s studio or workshop.
You may also be able to deduct the expenses of certain storage space for storing inventory or product samples. If you’re in the business of selling products at retail or wholesale, and if your home is your sole fixed business location, you can deduct home expenses allocable to space that you use to store inventory or product samples.
Know the limitations
The amount of home office deductions for self-employed taxpayers is subject to various limitations. Proper planning is key to claiming the maximum deduction for your home office expenses. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your situation.